Bodies of 3 more hostages are recovered from Gaza, Israeli army says

People standing on steps hold half-face images before their own faces
Relatives and supporters of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza hold photos of hostages during a performance in Tel Aviv this week calling for their return.
(Oded Balilty / Associated Press)

The bodies of three more slain hostages were recovered overnight from Gaza, Israel’s army said Friday.

The bodies of Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum and Orion Hernandez Radoux were found and their families have been notified, the army said. It said the three were killed on the day of the Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel and their bodies were taken to Gaza.

The announcement comes less than a week after the army said it found the bodies of three other Israeli hostages.


Hamas-led militants killed about 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and abducted around 250 others in the Oct. 7 attack. About half of those hostages have since been freed, most in swaps for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a weeklong cease-fire in November.

Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of at least 39 more, while 17 bodies of hostages have been recovered.

The top United Nations court ordered Israel to halt military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah but did not order a full cease-fire.

May 24, 2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to eliminate Hamas and bring all the hostages back, but he’s made little progress. He faces pressure to resign, and the U.S. has threatened to scale back its support because of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

On Friday, Netanyahu said the country had a duty to do everything to return those abducted, both those killed and those who are alive.

In a post on X, French President Emmanuel Macron offered condolences to the family of Hernández-Radoux, a French Mexican citizen, saying France remains committed to releasing the hostages.

The Israeli military says it found the bodies of three hostages in Gaza, including German Israeli Shani Louk, killed by Hamas at a music festival.

May 17, 2024

On the hostages, Israelis are divided into two main camps: those who want the government to put the war on hold and free the hostages, and others who think the hostages are an unfortunate price to pay for defeating Hamas. On-and-off negotiations mediated by Qatar, the United States and Egypt have yielded little.


Anger is growing at home over the government’s handling of the hostage crisis.

This week a group representing the families of hostages released new video showing Hamas’ capture of five female Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border Oct. 7. The video shows several of the young soldiers bloody and wounded. In one scene, a militant tells one of the terrified women she is beautiful. The video sparked more protests across the country calling for the hostages’ release.

The army said Friday the hostages were found during an operation in Jabaliya. Military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a news conference that the army was able to retrieve the bodies based on “critical intelligence” uncovered last week by Israeli forces operating in Gaza.

The group representing the families of the hostages said the bodies had been returned to their families for burial.

Nisenbaum, 59, was a Brazilian Israeli from the southern city of Sderot. He was taken hostage when he went to rescue his 4-year-old granddaughter.

Hernandez Radoux, 30, was taken from the Nova music festival, which he attended with his partner, Shani Louk. Louk’s body was one of those found by the army nearly a week ago.


Yablonka, 42, a father of two, was also taken from the music festival. His family in December told the Associated Press that he loved music. Yablonka’s family had no news of him for nearly two months after he’d been taken, not knowing whether he was alive or dead.

Israel’s bombardment and ground assaults since the war began have killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. Its figures do not differentiate between combatants and civilians.

The war has pushed a devastated Gaza into a humanitarian crisis, with increasing warnings by aid and world groups of famine.

Though the war has weakened Hamas’ capabilities, militants are regrouping in some of the hardest-hit areas in northern Gaza and resuming rocket attacks into nearby Israeli communities. Israel says its troops are operating in Rafah in the south, in central Gaza and in Jabaliya in the north.

Mednick writes for the Associated Press. AP writers Melanie Lidman in Tel Aviv and John Leicester in Le Pecq, France, contributed to this report.